PhD Studentship: Solid State Reactivity of Dialkyne Dosimeters

Durham University - Department of Chemistry

Supervisor: Prof. Jon Steed.

Radiation dosing is conveniently and easily measured by means of a solid state dosimeter that undergoes a chemical reaction stimulated by the incident radiation. An example in extensive commercial use is Pentacosadiynoic Acid (PCDA) which undergoes a readily visualized colour change from colourless to blue upon exposure to gamma radiation. This compound is used in sensors for blood irradiation and in radiotherapeutic films such as Gafchromic. The chemical change involved carbon-carbon bond formation in the solid crystals. The sensitivity of dialkyne compounds such as this to radiation-induced reactivity is highly dependent on the arrangement of the molecules in the crystal structure. This project seeks to understand the relationship between radiation sensitivity and crystal structure in various solid state forms and salts of PCDA and to use a cocrystallization strategy to explicitly tailor the solid state placement of radiation-sensitive dialkynes in order to optimize radiation sensitivity as well as expand this technology to other dosimetry fields. In particular the project will use topochemical and crystal engineering principles to systematically design crystal structure for tailored conversion characteristics upon exposure to different radiation sources.

The project is in collaboration with Ashland Advanced Materials and is available from October 2017.

Potential applicants are welcome to contact Prof. Jon Steed ( with informal enquiries.

The position is only open to applicants who are resident in the UK for fee purposes.

Early applications are strongly encouraged as the position will be filled when a suitable candidate is identified.

Deadline for applications is 31 August 2017.

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Northern England